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Sunday, November 26, 2006

On Flatbeds

Digital solutions for film lovers—Flat bed scanner fustrations

by Ajaxnetphoto

A question I am frequently asked—"what flat bed scanner do you recommend I should buy?"

This is a nightmare of a question and one which is not easily answered without first responding with the question "what do you know about image post processing and pre-press?", followed, usually, in my case, by the whole book preamble on the history of photography. It serves little purpose. Most individuals in my experience of this subject, are impulse buyers who have swallowed the manufacturer carrot and purchase on the basis of product appearance and little understanding of the mechanics or specification. By the time I have gotten to Niepce, listeners are already bored stiff. You know the glazed eye look....

This aside, there are novices with a genuine interest and limited budgets to spend. So here goes....


Posted by: OREN GRAD, tip o' the hat to Colin Jago


Blogger Robert Roaldi said...

It is one of the pleasures of my life when someone knowledgeable probes the design deficiencies of something and improves it signicantly. The question always remains, why didn't they think of it when they built it? It makes you wonder what else we use in our daily lives that could be improved with ten cents worth of tape and paint.

It's an old story, I suppose. The top brass at the Big 3 automakers (are there still 3?) don't drive much so we get automobiles that accountants and focus groups think we want. We get cameras with buttons in funny places because none of the people in the boardroom ever held a K-1000.

Very few people know how things really work. This is no accident. Our society encourages ignorance. Systems evolve in ways that benefit someone, somewhere. Someone, somewhere is counting on that ignorance, because it decreases the amount of work that they have to do to satisfy us and consequently increases the amount of money in their pocket.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Richard Sintchak said...

I wish he had cleaned the glass only and then saw the difference from that alone before taking all the time to do all that blacking out and such. I think he changed too many variables at once. That alone might have got him 80-90% there but we'll never know.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Jan Faul said...

Sadly, my trail of disused flatbeds is as long as anybody's. Another died yesterday only because it ran on OS 9. I replaced it with a plastic box anybody could run. This is the curse of digital - K.I.S.S.
Because I only shoot film, it has to be scanned and I discovered after a fairly long and painfully expensive process rhar I needed to look beyond consumer products and so I bought the most expensive cheap end of the pile professional flat bed scanner I could find - a Creo IQsmart2 (now owned by Kodak) and it does b/w and color negs equally well. The bad news is its price -- some SUVs cost less.

4:36 PM  

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